BMW expects sales to hit a record in 2012

City A.M. Reporter
BMW, the world’s largest premium car maker, yesterday forecast it would reach its long-term sales target four years earlier than planned, presenting rival Audi with a bigger challenge if it hopes to catch up with the Munich-based company.

BMW Group said sales would surpass the 2m vehicle mark in 2016, including its Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, without profitability suffering as a result.

“We are targeting new record highs in vehicle sales and pre-tax earnings for 2012,” chief executive Norbert Reithofer said at the group’s annual news conference in Munich.

In order to accelerate growth, BMW aims to expand its reach further into emerging economies, coining the term BRIKT markets for Brazil, Russia, India, South Korea and Turkey.

BMW does not even include China among the list, since it already sells more cars there than in any other country except the United States and Germany.

“2012 will be a decisive year for the further internationalisation of the BMW Group,” Reithofer said.

BMW reaffirmed its core car business would achieve an operating profit margin of between eight and 10 per cent sustainably going forward.

Reithofer said he expects car sales to finish 2012 at the upper end of this range, despite higher investments and expenditure to improve engine efficiency and expand its global manufacturing footprint.